February New Brews And Other News

I know,  it's not quite February but who really cares? Let's start off with the East Nashville Beer Festival. Tickets go on sale tomorrow. Raise your glasses to organizer Matt Leff, who pretty much single handedly put this entire thing together- permits and all. Knowing Matt, there will be plenty of quality craft beers being poured. Tickets are very limited, so don't wait! Go to their web site for more info.

Local craft beer distributor Bounty Bev continues to bring lots of new craft beer. Here is an excerpt from their posting on Beer Advocate:

"New seasonals are going to start rolling in the next two weeks including Sprecher Maibock and Dry Irish Stout (which is now year round), Stoudt's Carnival Kolsch is going to be hitting shelves late this week and next week. Look for the Sprecher Maibock in the generic seasonal 4 pack and Dry Irish should have its own 4 pack. In two weeks we will be launching Lucky Bucket Brewing company with their two year rounds, Pre Prohabition Lager and IPA. The IPA may be the best IPA we have launched since Caldera. When I poured the sample in my glass there was a piece of a hop leaf in the glass! The IPA is going to retail for $10.99 and the Lager for $9.99, we are unsure if we are going to have any draft as of yet"

Do any of you have an Iphone or Ipad? If so, check out Brew Vault. This community based app was developed right here in Nashville! I have not had a lot of time to mess with it, but so far I am impressed. It will come in very handy when I need to take tasting notes or look up beers when I am traveling. Best of all, I only paid 99 cents. I'll try to post a review later. Grab it before the price goes up.

That's it for now. Cheers!

"If it's not craft, it's crap"

Nashville Beer Summit 1.0

click here to see more photos
In my efforts to promote craft beer in Nashville, I do as much social networking as I can. Fellow beer aficionado Tim Duncan and I decided that it was time to get everyone together and share our collections of beer. We invited retailers, home brewers, beer aficionados, and members from Beer Advocate, Ratebeer, and Facebook. In an nutshell, anyone we could think of. We referred to the gathering as the "Nashville Beer Summit 1.0." The kinds folks at Cool Springs Brewery were kind enough to let us reserve the upstairs, which gave us plenty of room to socialize and enjoy all the wonderful beer. Click on the link to see lots of great photos (taken by Timothy Duncan)

I could not have been happier with the turnout. In addition to the Ratebeer and Beer Advocate members, representatives from Cool Springs Wine & Spirits, Chuck's Wine & Spirits (KY), Moon Wine & Spirits, and East Nashville Beer Festival were in attendance.

I don't recall drinking a bad beer the entire afternoon, but the following were some of my personal faves for the day (some of which I have already had)

New Glarus Raspberry Tart
Goose Island Vanilla Bourbon County Stout
Jackie O's Rum Barrel Aphrodite
Jackie O's Sweet Chocolate Love
Russian River Pliny The Elder
Cigar City OR
Cigar City Caspricho Obscura #4
Cigar City Cedar Aged Jai Lai IPA
Boon Oude Gueze Marriage Parfait (2003 Vintage!)
Alaskan Barleywine 2009
Laurelwood Green Mammoth Organic IPA

If you are wondering how to participate in the next beer summit, you can join Beer Advocate or Ratebeer (or both) and follow the local forums. Membership is free and you do not have to rate beers to participate on the sites. You can also shoot me an email and ask to be on the invitation list. These tastings are open to anyone who enjoys drinking and sharing craft beer. Space was limited at this event, which was why I did not have a dedicated blog post about it. Hopefully we will have more space at the next one. Cheers


January: New Brews & Other News

For starters, let's discuss some new high gravity arrivals- Victory Yakima Glory (Black IPA), Sweetwater Happy Ending (Imperial Stout), Rogue Double Mocha Porter (Imperial Porter) , Het Anker Lucifer Belgian Ale (Belgian Strong Ale), and Belgoo Magus Artisnal Belgian Ale (Belgian Strong Ale). Hey retailers- can you please break up the Belgian 4 packs? $20 is a little steep.However, I am glad to see more Belgian beers show up in Nashville. Oh yeah....this years batch of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is here!!!!! Even better, it's only $12.99 a six pack and these age very nicely.

For you sour heads, I am told that a shipment of Lindeman's Cuvée René was released to J Barleycorn. We don't see many examples of Gueze in this market, and this one is worth a try. 
Land Rover of Nashville will be hosting a tasting event entitled Ale For The Trail, which is a fund raiser for the International Mountain Biking Association. A $25 donation gets you a custom glass and the opportunity to sample a handful of craft beers. More information on the event and registration can be found by clicking here

For those out in Franklin, you now have another place to drink craft beer (and boring macros if you so desire). Broadway Brewhouse has opened their fifth location at 1855 Galleria Blvd (old Texas Roadhouse location). Unlike their two locations downtown, it's non-smoking. I have not visited this location yet, but I did see the tap list and it's worth stopping by.

Beer Review- Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Every beer reviewed was selected and purchased by me...until now.  The nice folks at Flying Dog Brewery decided to send me bottle of their Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA. It was a nice surprise because I had not tried that beer. I have to thank fellow beer blogger The Beer Snob for passing my name to Flying Dog's marketing department.

Flying Dog Raging Bitch
Flying Dog Brewery- Frederick, MD
ABV: 8.3%   IBUs: 60

SMITTY'S REVIEW: Sampled at 50 degrees (do not drink this any colder- trust me). Pours orange amber with an ivory head that dissipates to a retentive ring. Medium bodied with a soft and very slight sticky texture, along with a medium-fine carbonation. Complex aroma that is floral and yeasty,  with a hint of funky Belgian Farmhouse Ale esters.This has an extremely pale malt backbone that showcases the tangerine-like hop flavor, along with some mild spice phenols. The attenuation of the Diablo yeast strain provides just enough residual sweetness to provide balance, but also provides some dryness and phenols to give the beer a nice Belgian character. Long, clingy, and dry bitter finish with some distracting astringency.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit, even though I did not care for part of the finish. I am left wondering why I had not tried this sooner. Perhaps I take this brewery for granted because of their wide distribution. A little more aggressive in perceived bitterness when compared to Stone Cali Belgique or New Belgium Belgo, which are Belgian IPA shelf mates in the Nashville market.

Rating*: 8.75 out of 10

Recommended Food Pairing: Pork Chops, Game, Sausage, Fish, salty white cheeses


Beer Audience: Hopheads and Belgian beer drinkers. May be a little aggressive for the beginner palates

Where To Buy:  Liquor stores with a good high gravity beer selection.

Other Flying Dog Beers To Try: Gonzo Imperial Porter, Double Dog Double Pale Ale

* rating system based on aroma (1 pt), appearance (1pt), palate (2 pts) flavor (3pts), comparison to other commercial examples of the style (3pts)

Midtown Now Doing Growler Fills

I just received the following email from Midtown. Don't forget that other retailers such as J Barleycorn, Mt Juliet Beer Company, Whole Foods Green Hills, and Woody's Smokes and Brews also do growler fills.

It has been a long wait, but our growler system is up and running.

Midtown Beer & Cigars is pleased to offer Left Hand Milk Stout, Yazoo Pale Ale, Yazoo Sly Rye Porter and Yazoo's Fall Project.

We've got two different growler options for you:

Bring in your own growler and fill up on any of the Yazoos for $8.99 or the Left Hand for $11.99!

Purchase a growler from us and get the Yazoos for $12.99 or the Left Hand for $15.99!

left handyazoo